Wellness Tips For The Desk-Locked. Keep It Real At The Office

By Wellness Correspondent Abby Royce

Wellness Tips For The Desk-Locked. Keep It Real At The Office

Like most Americans, I'm venturing to guess you spend a large portion of your day in front of a computer screen. It's no newsflash that our bodies aren't too happy about it: That all-to-familiar position of rounded shoulders hunched forward in Quasimodo fashion -- it ain't good. I'm not even going to talk about how rounded shoulders actually accentuate our bellies -- you know, the place that stores a squishy mess of malasadas and french fries.

Maybe we don't all have the time or energy to run along the gorgeous Hawaiian coastlines, our ipod's blaring tunes as we pass scorched tourists and sweat out an eight-hour workday. Here at B on Hawaii we wouldn't dare ask that you pass up the opportunity to read your latest issue (or get work done, heaven forbid) in lieu of a jog.

Instead, we'd like to take a more practical approach and recommend some alternatives you can practice right in your office chair that will help fight the bulge -- and the draining effects of desk-tethered work.

Let's start with the eyes and work our way down.

  1. Give those peepers a rest from the computer screen every 10-15 minutes by changing your depth of focus. Be productive and daydream for 30 seconds while focusing on an object 20-30 feet away. If the boss asks what you're doing, forward them this article. They'll thank you for it. Swear.
  2. Be aware of your posture while typing. If you catch yourself rolling your shoulders forward (like you're readying to make out with the keyboard), there's a problem (a few, actually). Fix the physical problem (we're not psychologists) by taking a deep breath, sitting up straight, and tightening the abdominals. Roll your shoulders up, back and around a few times. Try to keep the shoulder blades in the same zip code, the torso upright. If you gravitate back to make out mode, rinse and repeat the process. Train the brain and the body will follow.
  3. Get up, stretch, and walk around for a minute or two every hour. I have been known to sit tethered to the computer for hours, and then go to my power yoga class. And I still wonder why I come out a distorted injured mess. Give that body a break every now and then. The all or nothing approach is asking for unhappy muscles, a body part that doesn't take kindly to extreme changes. Slow and steady.
  4. Last, consider what you are sipping on while you read this. Leave the sugary juices, caffeine and energy drinks for Zippy's patrons (it has it's place) and club kids. I suggest keeping a large recyclable water bottle nearby for constant hydration while you're in the work zone. Recommended daily water intake for active individuals is 2-3 quarts a day. (The big water bottles from the convenient store are about 1.5 quarts.) Dislike regular old H2O? Try dropping in a caffeine-free herbal tea bag of your favorite variety (I like white peach) in that jug o' water. If you absolutely need the sweet stuff, try agave nectar. The syrup mixes easily, tastes yummy, is natural, and has a lower glycemic index then honey or refined sugar. Agave nectar can be found at most health food stores.

Live long and prosper... while working!

"Leave the sugary juices, caffeine and energy drinks for Zippy's patrons (it has it's place) and club kids. I suggest keeping a large recyclable water bottle nearby for constant hydration while you're in the work zone."